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October 1998

 Rolling Ridge Neighborhood News

 Association members celebrated the first year of the Rolling Ridge Neighborhood association  at the September 14 meeting.  A feast of hot dogs, chips, and soft drinks was served to the 50 or so members in attendance.  After dinner was served the regular meeting was called to order.  The first item of business was a review of the proposed budget for FY'99. See accompanying story for more details.  Association President Rodney Howard continued the meeting by covering the lengthy list of accomplishments the association had during the past 12 months.   Some key accomplishments follow:
Organization formed and by-laws filed at Williamson County Courthouse 9/97
Sponsored Christmas lighting & decoration contest.
Hosted candidate forum involving the County commissioners and city council primary elections.
3 delegates spoke at the local public hearing held at Hopewell Middle school in  opposition to the State's  preferred route for State Highway 130.
Held neighborhood Garage sale. A bake sale and hot link sale were held in conjunction and netted the association $143.
Held Easter egg hunt and celebration.
Held end of school year party for neighborhood students and family members.
4 neighbors participated in a series of workshops with other citizens to provide guidelines for the city council to draft the year 2000 city master plan.
Arranged to have the monument lighting brought up to code and placed into working order without any cost to the association.
Several political activities in addition to the candidate forum including:     
Delegates attended county and state republican conventions.
Hosted candidates for state senator and county commissioner for discussion of issues of importance to our neighborhood.
Circulated petition to modify city council charter by allowing the voters to choose between at-large and place representation.     
Partnered with 4 other neighborhood associations to present a unified opposition force to the current plans for State Highway 130.
The meeting concluded with the nomination and election of officers for the fiscal year 1999.  The following individuals accepted nomination and were elected by vote of the members in attendance:

President -- Rodney Howard
Vice-President --  Vicki Bean
Secretary --  Interim -- Vicki Bean, replaced by Isabel Gallahan after November 3.
Treasurer -- Teresa Letourneau
Information Officer -- Craig McClure
As you can see our neighborhood association has made significant accomplishments during only its first year of existence.  The association will face even more challenges during the  next year but with the efforts of our association leadership and the contributions of all the neighbors of Rolling Ridge we can certainly overcome them.  
Membership fees increased
Members voted to increase the annual dues from $10 per year to $15 per year.  After a review of FY98 budget and expenses the current income from dues would not have been sufficient to fund expenses.  Several options were discussed during the meeting with eventual acceptance of the $15 amount.
Some members commented that this amount is minimal when compared with other neighborhood associations in our proximity noting that many of these associations require mandatory membership with dues in excess of $30 per month.
In addition to the membership dues members adopted a resolution to solicit a $2 contribution from each household in the neighborhood which does not join the association to fund the operation of the lighting surrounding the neighborhood entry monument.   Executive committee members will be canvassing the neighborhood in the near future.
Members also voted to increase the number of meetings per year from 3 to 6.  The tentative schedule is to hold these meetings the first Monday of every other month beginning in November.

Neighborhood volunteers recognized
Certificates of appreciation were handed out to several neighbors who have contributed to the success of various association projects during this previous year.  Their contributions ranged from landscape maintenance to bake sale coordination.
Special recognition was given to Jim Galloway who has contributed time and materials to maintain the landscaping at the entry monument area.

Membership drive underway
Executive committee members will be knocking on doors during early October soliciting new members and renewal of current members.  Approximately fifty percent of the households of Rolling Ridge were represented during the previous fiscal year.  Increasing the level of participation is an ongoing objective.  During the next 12 months City and State leaders will be making decisions which will impact the quality of life for residents of our fine neighborhood.  The old cliché of "Strength in Numbers" will never again have such relevance as it will now.  Our efforts thus far have gotten the attention of city staff.  The recent announcement by the city transportation engineer of his recommendation to move the Highway 130 to the eastern-most alternative is evidence of these efforts.  We've even been contacted by property developers who were "advised" by city planners to discuss their development with a group of neighborhood associations including ours.  

Beyond the political activities of our association we are also focused on the children of our neighborhood.  Last year's Easter Egg hunt and the end of the school year party were huge successes.  Plans are underway now for the next parties.  Other activities under consideration include the Christmas decoration and lighting contest, fall neighborhood garage and bake sale, and operation of a concession stand at next summer's Old Settler's festival.

While the fees have been increased $5 a year, the return on this investment will include membership in one of the most dynamic associations in the Austin area.  Even though you may not have time to volunteer for any of the many committees within the association just by joining and attending one or two meetings your sense of community will be enhanced.   At the very least you will meet some really fine people who happen to live in your neighborhood.

 When the executive committee member knocks on your door please make the move and join!
Upcoming neighborhood and City events:
Monday October 5 -- City transportation plan review meeting for SH130 -- Gattis School Elementary 4 to 8 PM
Thursday October 8 -- City Council meeting 7PM
Monday October 19-- Early voting begins at New Post Office
Thursday October 22 -- City Council meeting 7PM
Saturday October 24 -- Fall Neighborhood garage and bake sale.   
Monday November 2 -- Neighborhood association meeting -- 6:30PM
Tuesday November 3 -- Elections, Vote at Fire Station
Lighting contest will be held during December; specific date TBD -- More details to follow.

Volunteers needed
Opportunities exist for residents of Rolling Ridge to serve.  Several committees will be formed in the near future.  
These consist of:
Entry and Monument Landscape maintenance
Social Activities

Interested parties are encouraged to contact Rodney Howard at 255-6306.